December 18, 2002
Steve Kimock Electric Band
WOW -- Chester's & Fayetteville does it again !!!
I guess I should be used to the Chester's magic; this being my 6th trip to Fayetteville for Kimock music and my 15th & 16th Kimock shows at Chester's, but I have to say that THIS trip was unusually special, even given the context of the often amazing, always magical Fayetteville-Kimock connection. Kimock himself said (and this is a very loose quote) that these 2 gigs were the easiest, most stress and issue free gigs he has EVER done, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME !
Before hand, and on paper, the pairing of Kimock with the Jacob-Fred rhythm section was interesting to say the least. How would these far-out young players blesh with Kimock, Banana and Fierro? As a fan of JFJO, I was a bit scared because JFJO is some outside shit, and the Kimock-Banana-Fierro (ie ZERO) stuff is so inside, in-the-pocket groove by comparison. To further complicate things Reed and Jason arrived in Fayetteville somewhat later than expected which cut into rehearsal time. I happened to be by Chester's and caught a few moments of the rehearsals, but frankly I wanted to get out of there quickly so that I might fully enjoy the surprise element when the shows actually took place. But, even in the few minutes I was there I could tell that this ensemble was going to gel nicely. I asked Reed & Jason if they were going to let loose with the Fred stuff and they responded that they were THRILLED to be playing with Kimock, and that they were very much enjoying "just grooving" as a change of pace from the JFJO gigs. You could tell these guys came prepared, they had studied the material sent to them and were TOTALLY ready to play with Kimock.
It is always a treat to see players enjoying
themselves onstage as they play. I have to say that the unfettered joy demonstrated between ALL of these players during these two shows had a HUGE impact on the performances as well as the crowd vibes. To see Martin up there playing as well as I have seen/heard him play EVER was so wonderful. Apparently his surgery was a big success, because his playing is MUCH, MUCH stronger then it has been at anytime since the accident. Banana and Steve really seemed to enjoyed goofing with each other, they were all smiles both nights. And though Steve wasn't mic'ed the first night, he did actually sing on 3 tunes, and I am quite sure you will be able to hear it on Arielle's fine recording, not to mention that she captured it on video, which I believe should be up on kimock.com at some point soon, at least that was the plan a couple of days ago. Be sure to check that out ....
Back to the Steve Kimock ELECTRIC Band --- all you
ZERO fans out there this is MUST HEAR KIMOCK for sure. Most all the ZERO material was from the pre-Judge days, when Banana was a regular part of the ZERO lineup. Reed was incredible on bass, bouncing, grooving, up there under his chinese-peasant hat with this HUGE chesire-cat grin that was definitely infectious. Jason was very tasty on drums, ably handling the material, defining the pocket and doing some nice fills when the material went that way. Steve Pyror was real good, adding some nice rhythm as well as lead guitar work on occassion. Vocally he was good too, he sang lead on "Harder they Come" and "So Far Away from Me". Pyror also helped ground the rhythm section, as he has played with both Reed & Jason quite a bit over the years. Banana was just amazing, his voice was real strong, he played exceptionally well on all of his instruments and, as I said, his connection with Steve was just fantastic. ut Most Valuable Player has to go to Fierro, when he stepped up his presence really gelled all the parts together; this was true both nights, IMO. Martin was in great spirits, told a few bad jokes, and was his usual prankster self onstage and off.
The question on everyone's mind after the show ended, is will this show be a legendary one-off that could only happen at Chester's *OR* might the Steve Kimock Electric Band ride again??? I would have to say, judging from the smiles of all the musicians that in theory it is very doable --- but those JFJO guys tour so much, doing 200+ shows a year, so logistics will be challenging. And believe me, there were some VERY heavy logistics involved in these shows .
I hope, especially for the sake of ZERO fans everywhere, that SKEB will play again. Time will
tell --- perhaps they could set up a few summer time gigs leading up to a Warfield date or some such --- One thing is clear though, at least to me, the likelyhood of more SKEB dates is MUCH greater than the chances for any future ZERO dates. So all you ZERO freaks out there --- get these shows and see if you don't agree that the Steve Kimock Electric Band is ZERO unlimited .....
Though both of these shows were sold-out in advance, I am guessing that the next time Kimock plays in Fayetteville, more people will do whatever it takes to get there. Regardless of whether it was ZERO, KVHWhatever, SKB, and now these 2 shows it has always been something special and very much worth the trip. This is due in large part to the hard work and zen-faithfulness of Harold Wietes and Ira Schwartzman.
These guys put a ton of work and energy into Kimock shows at Chester's and somehow, no matter what sort of weird obstacles emerge it always ends up gelling and being well worth all. From my viewpoint, these 2 shows were the most challenging of the Kimock-Chester's dates thus far, bringing together the Jacob-Fred guys, Pyror from Tulsa, Martin from Marin, Banana and his crate of instruments, as well as the Kimocks from PA. Well guys, you did it again, CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS SO VERY MUCH !!!!
I have to add that Paul Little aka Tie-dye Paul had a lot to do with these gigs. He provided two different backdrops for the festivities, the first night he positioned 3 circles: 2 outside circles of fire with a center-piece a very feminine water image. Paul told me that these are some of his first circular pieces and it was, as usual, an incredibly beautiful installation. For the 10-31 show Paul displayed a large rectangular piece which he described as the view from above of the piece he displayed during the April 2002 SKB shows. It was quite intense, firey, and beautiful. Some I am sure already know this, but Paul has very strong ties to JFJO, is that coincidence? I think not, I believe that Paul Little had has much to do with instantiating the Kimock-Fred connection as anyone. I can hardly wait to see what Paul has in store for the NYE-Gothic-SKB shows !!
Special thanks to Marjorie and the wonderful staff at Chester's, to Stacie Weites at Dark Star Visuals, Stacie & Mark for the airport pickup, Graham for the good local vibes, to Chris Borne, Arielle Phares, Charlie Miller, Andy Roberts, and Andy & Pam for all the good FLOK vibes. It was a great trip and I look forward to the next Kimock-Fayetteville experience.
A couple tid-bits:
best costume: the paramedics that arrived in a REAL ambulance outside, unloaded a gurney with a "corpse" on it, and wheeled it into the middle of the crowd at Chester's.